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Mother Wit Disclosed

What happened to simple, plain old common sense. The type of sense that our grandmothers and mothers imparted on us that we actually used in how we conducted ourselves and lived our lives. This sister/attorney/administrative judge gives her take on love

Updated: 2015-09-17T00:03:36.561-07:00


How to Deal With a Racist Boss


I actually need some help with this. My boss' behavior of going off on me for making decisions that I know are rational and sound has prompted me to ponder this question. I conduct parole revocation hearings. I was hired to do so shortly after my agency was sued and lost a major federal law suit for violating parolee's rights. I can truly say that my decisions are rational and sound. He even agrees with me after I get a chance to explain my decisions after his rants. Is he a racist? I don't know. Is he an asshole? Most definitely. You see, my agency had/has a history of conducting "kangaroo" proceedings. I actually listen to both sides (parolee and agents) and try to make decisions based in law and fact. On occasion, stupid ass agents disagree and will call him to complain. Rather than stand by my decision, he caves in like a bitch and overturns the decision. On today, he said that he disagreed with my decision but would let it stand. Okay, if the decision was so bad then overturn it you fat little fuck.

In any case, I'm going to have to figure out how to deal with this little asshole for the next few years. I say the next few years because I don't want to be working there any longer than that. He's loud, unfriendly, spineless, lacking conviction, simple-minded and cowardly. But rather than exercise some balls and tell these dopey, stupid ass agents to go fuck themselves, he cowards like a bitch and then goes crazy white man ballistic on me for exercising pragmatic decision making. Over the next couple of weeks, I'm going to be pondering how to deal with this spineless, poor excuse for a man. Good riddance you ass hole. Peace.

What Community Organizing Means to Me


(image) For those of you who are politically and socially aware, I don't have to tell you what members of the Republican party said about community organizing and community organizers at their convention. In essence, these folks belittled Sen. Obama's work in organizing poor communities in the South Side of Chicago. These folks totally offended me and should have offended every self-respecting American in this country.

I was raised with the understanding that I had an obligation to give back to my community in some shape or form. My first experience in performing community service was through my church's young people's department. My sister and I would spend occassional weekends feeding the homeless and singing to the elderly during Christmas. By the time I was a teenanger, my sister and I had the wherewithall to organize relief centers at our church. In 1992, immediately after the Los Angeles riots, I watched my 17 year old sister single-handedly spearhead a food distribution program at our church.

Today, my service to humankind takes different forms. I mentored a young lady who gradutated from Wayne State University and who is currently awaiting admission to a joint MBA/JD program. There are a hosts of other things I've done. But the point I want to make is that I knew that there was no way to uplift my community, the black community, unless I did something. What the Republicans essentially said last week was that not only are we intentionally failing poor and urban communities, but for those of you in a position to help these communities, you shouldn't be helping them either. I read on a blog recently that if you ever wondered whether the Republican's neglect of Americans during Hurrican Katrina was intentional or not, their mockery of Sen. Obama's service to his community at their convention last week should answer that question for you.

Folks, lets get it in gear and get organized. To repeat an African proverb that I learned in college and never forgot, "The essence of life is SERVICE to humanity." Thank God for all of those grandmothers who fed and still feed poor people in our communities. Thank you to my father who at 62 and retired spends his time tutoring young black children at public schools in our community. To paraphrase my aunts, mother and other women I know, "one monkey [or Republican] don't stop no show." We must continue to do what the true elite will never do and that is serve our communities. In the words of Molly Bell, a beautiful community organizer in the City of Los Angeles, "The Struggle Continues, But to God be the Glory!"

Mon. Sept. 8, 2008 - Day of Blogging for Community Organizing Justice


Monday, September 8, 2008: Day of Blogging for Community Organizing Justice: "I Am a Community Organizer"
The AfroSpear and afrosphere announce a Day of Blogging for Community Organizing Justice: "I Am a Community Organizer", to be held on Monday, September 8, 2008. AfroSpear and afrosphere bloggers involved are encouraged to each contact five additional bloggers and request their participation.

VP Democratic Nominee Joe Biden on Meet The Press this Sunday



Check out Joe Biden on Meet the Press on Sunday. I wonder if the Republican VP nominee, Sarah Palin, will ever appear on the show? Just wondering.

Don't Focus on the Redneck Sitcom Called Sarah Palin


(image) I have to remind myself of this challenge. Senator McCain chose Sarah Palin as his VP nominee because he believed that she would electrify the Republican base. This is the same group that President George Bush used to secure (no let me tell the truth - steal) the 2000 Presidency. That base is made up of evangelicals and what are commonly referred to as "rednecks".

It is clear that the term "redneck" is no longer an insult with the word being the title of award winning country singer Gretchen Wilson's chart-topping song "Redneck Woman". Some white folks even refer to themselves and each other as rednecks as did the baby's father of one of Sarah's teenaged daughter in his myspace page. This group is and probably always will be the base of the Republican Party. Ms. Palin simply got the base excited and electrified. I commend her on doing what she was called to do.

Senator Obama cannot and should not count on tapping into this scary base. To me, it would be like him expecting and working to get the Ku Klux Klan vote. I believe that Senator Obama needs to continue to focus on the issues, allow Joe Biden to do his work on Ms. Palin and attempt to tap into the independent vote which I would hope is a bit more intelligent than that of the evangelical or the redneck vote. Each party has its base and at this point both parties are trying to get the independent vote and a small portion of groups that typically support the other party. For Barack Obama, the groups that he needs to tap into are the fiscal conservatives, libertarians, and other smart undecided traditionally Republican voters who have accepted the truth about the last eight years under the George Bush regime.

That said, Barack Obama must stay focused. Spending the next 60 days focusing on a soap opera is good for McCain. This major distraction is good for McCain because it allows him to take the focus away from the terrible economy which the Bush regime has refused to own and which McCain would undoubtedly continue. So folks, lets not take our eyes off the prize. Let Joe and the other Obama surrogates deal with Sarah "Caribou Barbie" Palin. Allow Barack to focus on the issues and on the terrible Bush presidency which would undoubtedly continue if McCain is elected. And also, lets put our time and money where our mouth is. I donated more money on today and decided to voluteer my time with the Obama campaign to see him elected in November.

Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones


(September 10, 1949 – August 20, 2008)Today is a sad day for me. My soror, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, went to be with the Lord on today. She will be sorely missed by her family and friends and the sisters of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc. I first met Soror Tubbs in 2004 when I attended Delta Days at the Nation's Capital, an annual legislative conference in our Nation's Capital for members of the sorority where we'd come together to influence our Nation's legislators. Every year that I attended the conference, Soror Tubbs would escort us around the Nation's capital and talk to us about issues of the day, all while treating us with such kindness. She was the kind of person you could just talk to and who didn't put on heirs. I remember Soror Tubbs parking her Honda Accord in the front of the capital to help orchestrate a group picture for sorors in front of the Capital. She was a real person which is a rare quality these days. Below is a statement that Tubbs made in response to the 2004 election. This quote, in my opinion, sums up Soror Tubbs' strength, courage and wisdom: I, Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a representative from Ohio, and Ms. Boxer, a Senator from California, object to the counting of the electoral votes of the State of Ohio on the ground that they were not, under all of the known circumstances, regularly given. I, thank God, that I have a Senator joining me in this objection. I appreciate Senator Boxer's willingness to listen to the plight of hundreds and even thousands of Ohio voters that for a variety of reasons were denied the right to vote. Unfortunately objecting to the electoral votes from Ohio is the only immediate avenue to bring these issues to light. While some have called our cause foolish I can assure you that my parents, Mary and Andrew Tubbs did not raise any fools and as a lawyer, former judge and prosecutor, I am duty bound to follow the law and apply the law to the facts as I find them.[...]

Joy! Unpseakable Joy!


I love art, and especially art featuring black dancers. I came across the above piece while searching the internet for something else. I wanted to share this piece with you. The piece is entitled, "Jumping for Joy." Looking at this piece reminds of those things that are honest, pure, lovely, virtuous, true, noble and of good report and I choose to think on those things. Happy Valentine's Day!

Author Toni Morrison Endorses Sen. Obama for President


In a beautiful and well written letter, author Toni Morrison endorsed Sen. Barack Obama for President of the United States. As most of us know, Obama is a black American man with a Kenyan father and a mother from Kansas. Hopefully, this will put to rest folks belief that in referring to former President Bill Clinton as "the first Black President" she meant her statement to be taken literally. Morrison made the statement to say that Clinton, in his presidency, had to deal with all of the attacks that are typically propelled against black men no matter how accomplished and intelligent they are. Morrison's endorsement of Obama and letter should put to rest this long-held misinterpretation of her true intent. Here is the endorsement letter:Dear Senator Obama,This letter represents a first for me--a public endorsement of a Presidential candidate. I feel driven to let you know why I am writing it. One reason is it may help gather other supporters; another is that this is one of those singular moments that nations ignore at their peril. I will not rehearse the multiple crises facing us, but of one thing I am certain: this opportunity for a national evolution (even revolution) will not come again soon, and I am convinced you are the person to capture it.May I describe to you my thoughts?I have admired Senator Clinton for years. Her knowledge always seemed to me exhaustive; her negotiation of politics expert. However I am more compelled by the quality of mind (as far as I can measure it) of a candidate. I cared little for her gender as a source of my admiration, and the little I did care was based on the fact that no liberal woman has ever ruled in America. Only conservative or "new-centrist" ones are allowed into that realm. Nor do I care very much for your race[s]. I would not support you if that was all you had to offer or because it might make me "proud."In thinking carefully about the strengths of the candidates, I stunned myself when I came to the following conclusion: that in addition to keen intelligence, integrity and a rare authenticity, you exhibit something that has nothing to do with age, experience, race or gender and something I don't see in other candidates. That something is a creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom. It is too bad if we associate it only with gray hair and old age. Or if we call searing vision naivete. Or if we believe cunning is insight. Or if we settle for finessing cures tailored for each ravaged tree in the forest while ignoring the poisonous landscape that feeds and surrounds it.Wisdom is a gift; you can't train for it, inherit it, learn it in a class, or earn it in the workplace--that access can foster the acquisition of knowledge, but not wisdom.When, I wondered, was the last time this country was guided by such a leader? Someone whose moral center was un-embargoed? Someone with courage instead of mere ambition? Someone who truly thinks of his country's citizens as "we," not "they"? Someone who understands what it will take to help America realize the virtues it fancies about itself, what it desperately needs to become in the world?Our future is ripe, outrageously rich in its possibilities. Yet unleashing the glory of that future will require a difficult labor, and some may be so frightened of its birth they will refuse to abandon their nostalgia for the womb.There have been a few prescient leaders in our past, but you are the man for this time.Good luck to you and to us,Toni Morrison(SOURCE).[...]

Clinton Replaces Campaign Manager with Maggie Williams


Sen. Hillary Clinton changes Campaign Managers in mid-stream and chooses Maggie Williams to lead her to victory. Williams served as the assistant to President Bill Clinton during his administration and as the chief of staff to Hillary Clinton when she was first lady. Most recently, Williams was one of Hillary Clinton's top presidential campaign advisors. (SOURCE). If Ms. Williams is indeed an advisor to Clinton, I wonder how she let Hillary's campaign get so out of control with the negative comments by surrogates and minions to the campaign. I don't know if the replacement of Ms. Williams will change anything. We'll soon see.

Michelle Obama on Larry King Live on Monday Night


Michelle Obama will be on Larry King Live on tommorrow night. Check your local listings for channel and time. I plan to watch the show.

Cosby Show Reunion on Oprah on Tuesday!



Calling all Cosby Show fans!!!!
On Tuesday, February 12, 2008 the Oprah Winfrey Show will feature a Cosby Show reunion. You all know the time and channel for the Oprah Winfrey show in your respective cities. If not, go on to Oprah's webpage to find out. What a great show the Cosby show was. I'm looking forward to seeing the reunion show and hearing from the cast about what it meant to them at the time to be a part of such a visionary show. I'd also like to know what cast members are doing now and how they view current television programming featuring African-Americans. I'm pretty sure of what Bill Cosby's stance is on the issue because he's been pretty vocal these past few years about his opinion on the State of Black America. Mr. Cosby has expressed extreme disappointment in the State of Black America. His most recent book, "Come on People" features his opinion on Black affairs. I haven't read it, so maybe I'll go and pick it up from library or read it at Borders or Barnes and Noble bookstores.

Celebrate Black Women in Jazz!


Over the weekend, I saw the renowned jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson at Yoshi's Jazz Club in the Bay Area. The event was amazing! Wilson has the ability to engage her audience with clarity, ease and seduction. I highly recommend a visit to Yoshi's to anyone who loves live music. The venue is intimate and cozy. It has become a premiere venue to hear great, live, jazz music.

Prior to going to the concert, I heard a lecture from Historian and Professor LaShonda Katrice Barnett as she talked about her book, "I Got Thunder: Black Women Songwriters On Their Craft." Barnett offered great depth and context to many black female vocalist we've taken for granted and have not gotten to really know beyond their music. Her book features private and intimate interviews with great writers such as Abbey Lincoln and Nina Simone, just to name a couple. I purchased her book and look forward to learning more about the lives of these women.

I've become a huge fan of female jazz vocalist. Some of my favorites are Shirley Horn, Carmen McCrae and Etta James. Jazz is a musical genre that is almost lost in the black community because black folks neither buy jazz music nor attend jazz concerts at the same rate as do other groups. Jazz is considered the first musical genre rooted in the United States experience, having been created in New Orleans, Louisiana by enslaved Africans. (SOURCE). I intend to spend more time cultivating my interest in this musical genre, sharing it with young people and learning more about its history. If you are a jazz enthusiast who happens to be black, share the art form with your children so that the genre continues to be known to and appreciated by children of color.

Obama Rally With Oprah and Friends at UCLA -- Awesome!


(image) On Sunday, Oprah Winfrey, Caroline Kennedy, Michelle Obama and suprise guest Maria Shriver appeared at UCLA to promote Sen. Obama's candidacy for President of the United States to Californians. The event was held two days before "Super Tuesday" a day in which Californians and voters from many other states around the country will cast their vote for their parties nomination for president. I watched this rally on C-SPAN and it was absolutely awesome! I loved Oprah's line in responding to disdain from women who claim that she is a traitor to her gender because she supports Obama. Oprah said,

After Iowa, some woman had the nerve to say to me, How could you, Oprah? How could you? You're a traitor to your gender. . . I was both surprised by that comment and insulted because I've been a woman my whole life and every part of me believes in the empowerment of women but the truth is I'm a free woman. Being free means you get to think for yourself. So I say, I am not a traitor . . I'm just following my own truth and that truth has led me to Barack Obama. . . . Don't play me small. I'm not that small. . . I would never vote for anybody because of gender or race. I'm not voting for Barack Obama because he's black. I'm voting for Barack Obama because he's brilliant."(SOURCE).
It is wonderful to see women with their own minds, exercising free-will to endorse the candidate who they believe is best for them and the country. Michelle, in my opinion, gave the best speech of the day when she talked about all that her husband has triumphantly overcome. It was a motivating and inspiring rally. Oh yeah, I can't forget Stevie. Stevie Wonder sang a beautiful melody to Obama's name. I haven't been able to get the melody out of my head. Awesome!

Judge Refers to Three Black Female Attorneys as "The Supremes"


01/30/2008Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III has been reprimanded by the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities.By ERIN JULIUS - erinj@herald-mail.comHAGERSTOWN — Washington County Circuit Judge W. Kennedy Boone III has been reprimanded by the Maryland Commission on Judicial Disabilities for referring to three women of color in the Public Defender's Office as "the Supremes" and for suggesting that a defendant who wanted to replace his public defender be given an "experienced male attorney." Boone made the comments in open court April 24, 2007. [me: I'm not at all suprised to hear this. As an attorney, I've heard comments like this and worse from judges. I think judges tend to get extremely comfortable in their courtrooms, thinking that they are in their homes where they can say whatever they want. I can only imagine the "Archie Bunker-like" comments that the judge makes in the privacy of his own home].The judicial disabilities commission concluded that Boone's comments were "undignified and disparaging," according to a notice of the reprimand printed in the Jan. 18 edition of the Maryland Register. "I have no defense," said Boone, who called the notice of the reprimand a fair document. He said he holds all three attorneys to whom he was referring with the "Supremes" comment in high regard, and he said each of the women has built a solid professional reputation. The judge acknowledged that his comments were "highly suggestive, if not indicative ... of racial and sexual bias," he said. [me: Indicative and suggestive . . .hell these comments were outright racist and sexist. Judge call it what it is. The first step to redemption is honesty].Nancy Forster, Public Defender for Maryland, filed the complaint about Boone's remarks July 2, 2007. Forster has been with the Office of the Public Defender for 24 years and has never filed a complaint, she said Tuesday morning in a telephone interview. She found it "very disturbing" that anyone in this day and age would refer to three African-American women as "the Supremes," Forster said. [me: Suprised to hear that this was the first complaint. I believe that this was the first reported complaint that was so irrefutably and overtly racist and sexist that it could not go unpunished].Boone called Forster after she filed the complaint and apologized profusely, said Forster, whose office is in Baltimore. The judge wanted Forster to know there would be no similar conduct in the future, he said Tuesday. Judges must be held accountable, Boone said. "The buck stops here when I'm wrong," said Boone, who said he never before had a sanctionable complaint filed against him.Boone personally apologized to the women he referred to as "the Supremes." He met with each of them in June 2007 and offered to recuse himself from their future cases, according to a stipulation entered into by Boone and the Commission. Offering to recuse himself from the women's cases was "absolutely the right thing to do," Forster said. The decision to ask the judge to recuse himself has been left up to the three attorneys, Forster said. [me: It goes without question that I would ask the judge to recuse himself from hearing any case where I am counsel as he has already demonstrated that he is biased against black women attorneys].All three women have since appeared before Boone in court, he said. "I appreciate their acceptance of my apology," he said. Both "the Supremes" comment and a comment that a defendant be given a qualified male attorney came during a hearing for Jermaine Jackson, a defendant charged with first-degree assault and other crimes who wanted to replace the male public defender who had been representing him. Boone wrote in his response [...]

"He that is not with me is against me." (Luke 11:23)


Debra Lee of BET forms an "alliance" with false prophets calling themselves black clergyIn the verse above, Jesus was saying that if a person is not on God’s side, he or she is on Satan’s. There is no neutral ground. Christ allowed no middle ground to the moneychangers in the Temple. Jesus was angry at the dishonest, greedy practices of the moneychangers and merchants, and he particularly disliked their presence on the temple grounds. They were making a mockery of God’s house of worship. Jesus took the evil acts in the temple as an insult against God, and thus he did not deal with them halfheartedly. He was consumed with righteous anger against such flagrant disrespect for God. (See John 2:13-16).This past weekend, in reading the January 25, 2008 post on the blog Whataboutourdaughters, entitled "Payola in the Pulpit -- BET 'Bribes' Black Clergy," I learned that Black "Exploitation" Television (BET) is sponsoring the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference (SDPC) in New Orleans from February 11-14. This organization is made up of accomplished and highly respected black clergy. Apparently, the organization wrote a "clergy support letter" designed to counter the challenges that the Enough Is Enough Campaign and others have made about the offensive music video content BET markets to children and youth everyday on its top rated video programs. WAOD.As we all know, BET for the last 25 years or more have been the purveyor of all things smutty as it relates to black folks and the images of black women in particular. I won't go into detail in mentioning all the “fine” shows that they've delivered to black people over the years. Some so-called activist are torn between allowing BET more time to produce positive programming on its network and continuing the fight against Debra Lee, the president of BET, in her mission to make money through the continual showcasing of black degeneration. I myself have weighed the merits and demerits in keeping the focus on Lee and BET and have come to the conclusion that the fight against Lee must continue.In one respect, B.E.T sporadically offers positive programming in the form of shows like “Keep the Faith” and award shows honoring black community icons like Congresswoman Maxine Waters and in another respect, the network continues to showcase irrefutable smut through its videos shown all throughout the day and night featuring half-naked black women. I have reached the decision that the showcasing of the smut considerably outweighs any attempt by the network to redeem itself through the occasional use of an award’s show here and there. Apparently, the black clergy who have formed this "alliance" with BET have not come to this realization. You don't have to have a theology degree or to have gone to divinity school to know that when you align yourself with everything that is evil and reprobate in this world, then you have told the world that that is who and what you are also. I expected a bit more from people who call themselves men and women of God. It is a shame that people that we look up to would rather get paid than to stand up for what is right -- that is call BET out for "pimping" our community and degrading black women through its video.To put it directly, the SDPC's decision to form a "strategic alliance" with BET shows that for that all mighty dollar they, like BET, are willing to support and need I say advance the degradation of black women. They have told all of us on whose side they stand and that is the Devil's side because BET, like the Devil, is no less than everything that is false, defiled, unrighteous, ugly and dishonest in this world. To analogize things, BET is to the SDPC as evil is to evil.Th[...]

Just the Facts Ma'am


(image) Just the Facts Ma'am: Sen. Barack Obama's South Carolina Victory Over Sen. Hillary Clinton

I will not be providing an editorial or commentary on the facts surrounding Sen. Barrack Obama's first place victory in the South Carolina Primary on yesterday. There are media pundits and bloggers who believe that Obama's victory in South Carolina means that he is now been declared the "black candidate" and accordingly cannot win the Democratic nomination or the general election in November. There is another school of thought that claims that Obama, in his land-slide victory against Sen. Hillary Clinton, has proven that he is a unifying candidate who can bring people of various backgrounds together. It's my opinion that the facts speak for themselves. Here they are:

Sen. Obama: 55% (295,091)
Sen. Clinton: 26% (141,128)
John Edwards: 18% (93,552)

Sen. Obama won 52% of the vote of young white voters age 18-35.

Sen. Obama won 27% of white male vote, compared to Clinton's 28% and Edwards' 45%.

In Greenville County, which has a higher average income and a more educated populace than the statewide average and which is 78 percent white, Obama won by a resounding 22 percentage points.

Sen. Obama's margin of victory over Sen. Clinton was 28 percentage points.

Total turnout for Democrats in their primary was greater than the turnout for the Republican primary in the state of South Carolina, which is one of the most loyal Republican in the nation.

Four years ago about 290,000 Democrats voted in the state's primary: Saturday Obama alone got more than that number of voters.

Sen. Obama received more votes thatn John McCain and Mike Huckabee combined (279,723).

With Sen. Obama in the race, the Democratic turnout was twice that of 2004 (532,000 to 280,000). http://http//

I Love Children's Books


I love children's books. I've purchased quite a few in the last month. I gave one to my nephew for Christmas and the other one, "I Love My Hair", I kept for my self because I love the topic of the book as well as the illustrations presented in it. The book features a little black girl discussing her thick, coarse black hair and how she is able to wear it in many different styles because of its texture. She extols love and appreciation for her coarse hair throughout the book.

I highly recommend giving children books for their birthday, Christmas and other major holidays rather than giving them toys with which they will quickly tire. With books, children are able to experience a journey that they can return to by merely picking up the book and reading it again. They also develop a love for reading, which gives them an advantage in school where reading is fundamental to learning and mastering all subjects. Finally, presenting children of color with culturally-centered books helps to impart a sense of pride and cultural awareness in them.

A few of my favorites are, "I Love My Hair!" by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley and He's Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson. Not only would you be introducing your child to the joy of reading, but in purchasing culturally-based books, you'd be helping them to see themselves represented in these books, and understand that the world is made up of many different kinds of people. Through books, cultural awareness can start before your child gets to college or enters the real world.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
January 15, 1929 - April 4, 1968
"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will."

-- Frederick Douglass 1849

Clinton Resorts to Using Her House Negro Extraordinaire to Win Black Votes


January 13, 2008, 2:39 pm
BET Founder Slams Obama in South Carolina
By Katharine Q. Seelye

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Robert L. Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, who is campaigning today in South Carolina with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, just raised the specter of Barack Obama’s past drug use. He also compared Mr. Obama to Sidney Poitier, the black actor, in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” At a rally here for Mrs. Clinton at Columbia College, Mr. Johnson was defending recent comments that Mrs. Clinton made regarding Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She did not mean to take any credit away from him, Mr. Johnson said, when she said that it took President Johnson to sign the civil rights legislation he fought for. Dr. King had led a “moral crusade,” Mr. Johnson said, but such crusades have to be “written into law.”

“That is the way the legislative process works in this nation and that takes political leadership,” he said. “That’s all Hillary was saying.” He then added: “And to me, as an African-American, I am frankly insulted that the Obama campaign would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton, who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues since Barack Obama was doing something in the neighborhood –­ and I won’t say what he was doing, but he said it in the book –­ when they have been involved.” Moments later, he added: “That kind of campaign behavior does not resonate with me, for a guy who says, ‘I want to be a reasonable, likable, Sidney Poitier ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.’ And I’m thinking, I’m thinking to myself, this ain’t a movie, Sidney. This is real life.”

Side bar: Hillary, this advice is free: An endorsement from a man who literally and figuratively made billions of dollars off the backs of black folk by promulgating negative, misogynistic and despicable images of black women is not helpful to your campaign. Next weekend, you will have to focus on obtaining the black female vote and according to media pundits this vote will be the decisive factor in determining the victor in the South Carolina democratic primary.

That said, you will have to go to churches, and according to these pundits beauty shops (because according to them it is the only place where we debate issues of the day) and tell Sister Plunkett of the Morningside Baptist Church (fictional name and church) that you are the best candidate for the job and Bob Johnson says so. Most black women know that Johnson is the man who brought us such thought-provoking programming as "B.E.T. Uncut" which featured scantily-clad black women gryating to rap music for the pleasure of men. Sister Plunkett will be reminded of what Johnson represents because she unsuccessfully tried to stop her grand-children from watching B.E.T; a channel that is arguably a factor in the overall complanceny amongst black youth.

An endorsement from Johnson would be the equivalent to PetCo being endorsed by Michael Vick. It just doesn't make sense. Hillary, this is an endorsment that I would have passed on. Just my two cents.

The Obama Baby Does My Heart Good!



I must tell you that it is wonderful time to observe the current U.S. presidential race. For the first time in American history an African American has a serious chance of becoming the next President of the United States. As a black woman, it makes me proud, invigorated and encouraged to see Barack Obama contending for our Country's highest political office. To see Michelle Obama and their two little girls by his side simply warms my heart.

I haven't decided upon a candidate to support yet because I would like to know more about the Senator's position on issues of importance to me like the deployment of troops from Iraq, education reform, healthcare, violence in urban communities and national drug policy just to name a few. But it is great nonetheless to see him as a viable candidate in this presidential race.

My sister sent me this picture of my nephew in his Obama gear. Isn't he cute? I can't help but be grateful when I think that this baby has the same promise and potential as that of Senator Obama. When I look at the picture of my nephew and think of the fact that Barack Obama is being seriously considered for United States presidency, I'm reminded that Martin Luther King, Jr.'s hope that people not be judged by the color of their skin, but rather the content of their character is coming to fruition. For those of you who believe that I am saying that racism no longer exist. Stop. I'm not saying that at all. As a Black woman who has worked in law firms and lived in America I know that it exist. I also know that you cannot let anybody tell you what you can and cannot accomplish. Contrary to former President Bill Clinton's assertion, it is not a "fairytale" for a highly intelligent attorney, Senator and former community organizer who happens to be black to believe that he is the best person to help move this country forward.

Rather than listen to naysayers, Barack Obama presses forward in his bid for the White House. Therefore, I am overjoyed that my nephew has the same opportunities in this Country as that of Barack Obama provided that he let no man define him, but rather defines himself. So that's why it does my heart good to see Barack Obama in this race and to see my nephew in his Obama baby t-shirt. Now, may the best person win.

Change or Experience: Which Quality Is More Important to You?



Illinois Senator Barack Obama argues that he is the presidential candidate for change. While New York Senator Hillary Clinton labels herself as the candidate with experience. If I had to choose one of the two qualities in a leader, I would choose change. There is a saying, that nothing in the world is constant but change. A person's ability to embrace change puts him or her ahead of those who buckle under pressure when presented with change.

Arguably, one could say that Senator Clinton's decision to give President Bush unfettered power to wage war against Iraq was an example of buckling under pressure, and thus an example where experience proved futile. In my opinion, she did not want to be labeled unpatriotic as was the unfair label given to Congresswoman Barbara Lee for voting against the war in Iraq and refusing to abdicate her power to the executive branch.

It is undisputed that both candidates are extremely intelligent people. Both have ivy league degress (which I guess shouldn't be the standard for intelligence when we have Presidents with such degrees who have proven themselves to be absolute idiots), and were extremely accomplished lawyers before deciding to enter the political arena. But it seems that Senator Clinton did not exercise her experience at a time when it was dire. Therefore, it seems that those with all the experience, especially George "Dubya" Bush are responsible for the present state of our country.

The United States has had twenty years of "experience" through both the Bush and Clinton White House (four years of Daddy Bush, eight years of Bill and eight years of Dubya) the ultimate result of which is extreme party-polarization, Iraq, No Child Left Behind and distant reminders of the whole Monica Lewinsky scandle and Bill's resulting impeachment. Enough is enough. I like Senator Clinton, but her failure to exercise good judgment at a time when it was crucial is telling. Anyone with experience and good judgment knows that you never give away your power. Such a decision is inconsistent with our system of checks and balances. Barack Obama can't do any worse than good ole' Dubya and Senator Clinton in all of their experience. So I vote for change.

Putting Myself on Blast -- 147 Pounds


There, I said it. I weigh 147 pounds -- 15 more pounds than I weighed just 6 months ago. I needed to disclose the number to myself and to you in order to feel embarrassed about it and propel myself into action; Because truth be told, I really believe that I carry this 147 pounds pretty well. But its just not healthy and its not what I want for myself. I'm not going to pretend that being "big-boned", "thick" and all the other euphemisms that we as black folk use to describe what really is fat is healthy for me. Well, to paraphrase an old Chinese proverb, "a One Thousand mile journey begins with the first step," and the first step for me is being honest with myself about my weight. Peace.

New Year's Resolutions -- Just for Today


I have made a few New Year's Resolutions for this year: (1) to improve my physical health by releasing weight and eating healthier; (2) to spend more time reading stimulating books, and less time watching television; (3) to develop and maximize my blog; (4) to invest more time in devotion with God; and (5) to improve my financial well-being.

It can be overwhelming to think of the work required to accomplish these goals. That is why the credo of Al-Anon resonates with me, because it reminds me to take it one day at a time; to break down my goals into smaller elements so that it does not seem so overwhelming and to forgive myself should I get off course because each day is a new day to start over again. Here is the Al-Anon credo. I hope it helps you.

Just for today: I will live through this day only. I will not brood about yesterday or obsess about tomorrow. I will not set far reaching goals or try to overcome all of my problems at once.

I know that I can do something for 24 hours that would overwhelm me if I had to keep it up for a lifetime.

Just for today: I will be happy. I will not dwell on thoughts that depress me.

Just for today: I will accept what is. I will face reality. I will correct those things I can correct and accept those I cannot.

Just for today: I will improve my mind. I will read something that requires effort, thought and concentration. I will not be a mental loafer.

Just for today: I will make a conscious effort to be agreeable. I will be kind and courteous to those who cross my path, and I'll not speak ill of others. I will improve my appearance, speak softly and not interrupt when someone else is talking.

I will refrain from improving anybody but myself.

Just for today: I will do something positive to improve my health. If I'm a smoker, I'll quit. If I am overweight, I will eat healthfully -- if only just for today. And not only that, I will get off the couch and take a brisk walk, even if it's only around the block.

Just for today: I will gather the courage to do what is right and take responsibility for my own actions.

I will update you on a monthly basis about my progress in each of these areas. Happy New Year!!!

Be Strong and Courageous -- Joshua 1:9


Hearing about the assasination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was one of those news stories that froze time for me. I recall my mother and father telling me where they were when they heard the news that President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assasinated.

Similarly, hearing Matt Laurer of "The Today Show" announce the breaking news story of Ms. Bhutto's death was the same kind of announcement that made me stop, think and pause. It was about 5:30 a.m. and I was sitting in my living room with my entire family as we shared a few moments before they departed to return home from enjoying the Holidays with me and I left for work. I remember that we were all struck with extreme saddness upon hearing the news. Although Bhutto was a muslim, Pakistani woman, I had always felt a sense of commonality and kinship with her.

I remember being a teenage girl, attending a predominantly Caucasion high school and learning about her election to the position of Prime Minister. At that time, my interest was entering public office in some capacity at some point in the future. I was moved, touched and inspired that a woman of color could reach such heights of power and success. When she appeared on television shows like "Meet the Press" I'd stop whatever I was doing to listen to this beautiful and graceful woman share her agenda on how she was going to help lead her people. For me, Prime Minister Bhutto represented what was and is possible for every young woman of color.

Thus, the recent news of her assasination left me sad yet introspective about the whole idea of courage for conviction. I was reminded of a scripture that my church's youth director shared with me and that I never forgot when I went off to college: Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Joshua 1:6. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9.

Since her death, I've been frozen by the idea/word COURAGE. Is there anyting for which you would give your life? Is there something/someone that makes you step outside of the box -- that makes you want to do the extroadinary? This year challenge yourself in learning, understanding and advocating for ONE issue of importance to you. Complacency is not in order anymore. Like Ms. Bhutto, for what cause or for whom will you display Courage this day?



IN 2008 – KULIBAH! KULIBAH! KULIBAHLet them go, up on high, let them go!Fly! Isaiah 40:31They who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength,they shall mount up with wings like eagles.They shall run and not be weary,They shall walk and not faint. Today we honor our high school graduates. We are also celebrating the graduations of various college and graduate students among us. At a time like this, all of us are pondering how to deal with the transitions in our life. How do we deal with change? How do we cope with the movement from one season of life to another---from spring to summer, from student years to work years, from living at home to heading off to school?In all transitions there is a combination of gratitude and grief. As Dag Hammarskjold said, “For all that has been thanks. For all that will be yes.” Today we stand between what has been and what will be. So this is a good time to pause and reflect on how our faith helps us to navigate through these in-between times. Do you remember what Adam is reported to have said to Eve as they left the Garden of Eden? “My dear, we live in times of transition.”We’re all graduating from something, or commencing to something. We may be moving from 3rd grade to 4th grade, middle school to high school, high school to college, college to work, youth to adulthood, mid-life to senior years, from one job to another job. We’re always in process of moving from one point to another. Transitions are times when we move from one chapter to another chapter in our story, from a finish line to a start line. These are times when we shed some tears at leaving the former place, while getting excited about the new place. Its a lot like being a trapeze artist. We’ve seen them in the circus. The person swings out; and at just the right moment she or he must let go of one trapeze, hover there for a moment in the void, and then catch hold of the other trapeze. Its a tense moment. There is exhilaration, but also anxiety and even fear. At our graduations we let go of one place as we reach out and take hold of another.So what can we say today that might help all of us graduates as we swing out from our trapeze? We first have to learn to let go and trust the training we’ve received from teachers, parents, church, and friends. For some of us it may be a bit like the young bird standing on the edge of the nest, ready to fly. But some of our young people have already said to us, But I’m already flying. Learning to fly is a good image for this moment. Can we mount up with wings like eagles, as Isaiah says? We’ll come back to this image a little later.What do we say to each other at the points when we’re learning to fly, as we’re taking a big leap, as we say into new territory? Is there a word from the Lord that will give us courage for this transition? We all can remember the pithy sayings that folks have uttered at times like these. Winston Churchill once spoke wisdom when he told some young people, as they were poised to launch into life: “I have three things to say: Never give up. Never give up. Never give up.” And he sat down. I like what Marian Wright Edelman of the Children’s Defense Fund added to Churchill’s words. She said, “Never give up no matter how hard it gets. And when you get to your wits end, remember that’s where God lives.”Or we could offer the wise statement from Oscar Wilde who said, “There are two t[...]